Winter view of Dunes on Mars

Winter view of Dunes located in the Southern hemisphere on Mars, taken from HiRISE instrument aboard the robotic Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.    Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA 

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This observation of Dunes on Mars, documents new seasonal processes occurring on dunes at this latitude, as well as other interesting phenomena. The bright tones are interpreted as carbon dioxide or water frost.

This is generally concentrated on the east-facing slopes of the dunes, which are in shadow and therefore cooler. Some dark spots on the dunes may be areas that have defrosted more than surrounding terrain. Landslides and dark-toned streaks are seen on many of the west-facing dune slopes.

The general dune morphology indicates formation by westerly winds. However, zooming in on the image shows smaller scale ripples that appear to have been formed by winds blowing from the south and north.

Winter view of Dunes on Mars

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

source Hirise